doctor discussing health issues with patient

In honor of Men’s Health Month, we would like to share activities and resources to promote the importance of preventive health care in maintaining optimal health and ensuring early detection. Listed below are 5 ways to increase disease prevention.

1. Annual Wellness Visit

Annual Wellness Visits are not just physicals, but an open conversation between individuals and their physicians to explore a patient’s health history, discuss any concerns and develop a personalized plan to prevent future health problems. To help facilitate visits like these, Great Plains QIN is working with primary care providers to optimize the use of their electronic health records, so they can keep patients up-to-date on their next wellness appointments and needed preventive services.

2. Cancer Screenings

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 300,000 men in the United States lose their lives to cancer each year. Staying active, not smoking, avoiding second-hand smoke and getting regular screenings are a few ways individuals can be proactive about prevention and early detection. We are collaborating with partners in our states to increase screening rates for serious conditions like colon cancer. For more information, visit our Web site.

3. Diabetes Self-Management

Diabetes self-management education (DSME) is critical for those with diabetes, especially older men. We are hosting Everyone with Diabetes Counts (EDC) workshops to raise awareness of diabetes self-management strategies like proper nutrition and regular exercise. We also are seeking to reduce disparities in diabetes care. For more information on our efforts, visit our Web site.

4. Cardiovascular Health

According to the American Heart Association, one in three men suffers from one or more cardiovascular diseases. Great Plains QIN is helping raise awareness of Million Hearts®ABCS of heart health (Aspirin therapy when appropriate, Blood pressure control, Cholesterol management and Smoking cessation) to prevent heart attacks and stroke. We also are helping providers develop evidence-based strategies for improving patients’ cardiovascular health.

5. Immunizations

Immunizations aren’t just for children: The CDC reports that protection from childhood vaccines can wear off over time, and influenza vaccinations are recommended yearly. In fact, over 60 percent of seasonal flu-related hospitalizations occur in people 65 and older. For more information on our immunizations efforts, visit our Web site.

For a complete list of preventive Medicare services for men, refer to the Medicare Prevention Services Chart.

Source: QIO News; June 2016